Events coming up this week

It’s been a week since same-sex marriage became legal in Iowa, and I’m happy to report that my hetero marriage has not yet collapsed under the strain of sharing rights with gays and lesbians.

Click “there’s more” to read about events coming up this week. As always, post a comment or send me an e-mail (desmoinesdem AT yahoo.com) if you know of something I’ve left out.

Advance warning: May 11-15 is Bike to Work week.

Registration is FREE. Over 500 Bike to Work Socks have been ordered from the Sock Guy. This year’s socks are green. Socks will be available at events throughout the week on a first come, first serve basis. (One pair per pre-registered rider.) Everyone who registers and takes the pledge is eligible for $1,000 in Bike Bucks for use in any sponsoring bike shop and many other prizes! Registration closes at Noon on Thursday May 14th. Questions? Check out Bike to Work Week events and businesses around Iowa at www.bikeiowa.com.

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More links on marriage equality in Iowa

It’s day four for legal same-sex marriage in Iowa, and I still haven’t seen any reports of couples being refused a marriage license anywhere in the state. The Des Moines Register reported that about 350 same-sex couples received marriage licenses on Monday, the day the Iowa Supreme Court’s ruling in Varnum v Brien went into effect. More than half of those applications were in five large counties: Polk (Des Moines area), Johnson (Iowa City), Linn (Cedar Rapids), Pottawattamie (Council Bluffs) and Scott (Quad Cities area).

According to this map on the Des Moines Register’s site, about half of Iowa’s 99 counties have issued at least one marriage license to a same-sex couple. No counties have denied marriage licenses yet, but many have yet to receive an application from a same-sex couple.

Today Iowa Politics is holding a forum on the Supreme Court’s Varnum v Brien decision. The panelists will be Brad Clark, campaign director of One Iowa, and Brad Sherman, a pastor in Coralville who is also a board member for the Iowa Christian Alliance and Miracle Life Ministries, and Choices Medical Clinic. This free event will be in Drake University’s Levitt Hall in Old Main, 2507 University Ave. in Des Moines. The event later will be broadcast on the Mediacom Connections channel statewide and will be available for On Demand viewing on Mediacom Channel 1. Doors open at 3:30 p.m. and taping of the show will be from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Registration options:

– Online: http://www.esurveycentral.com/…

– E-mail: info@Iowapolitics.com

– Phone: (515) 309-2941

Speaking of One Iowa, the group is trying to raise $25,000 by the end of April (that’s today) in order to collect on a matching gift that will keep their television ad on the air. Click here to watch the ad and donate.

The Des Moines Register’s business section featured an article on Thursday about gay-friendly wedding planners. Resources mentioned in the piece include gayweddingswithpanache.com, myiowagaywedding.com, iowasgayweddingplanner.com and iowagayweddingdirectory.com. Beau Fodor of gayweddingswithpanache.com said the most frequent questions he’s been asked by out-of-state wedding seekers are whether people can get married on one of the covered bridges of Madison County and whether they will need to hire security for their wedding because of protests from those who oppose gay marriage.

The New York Times reports that more Republicans are “rethinking” the party’s stance on gay marriage:

The fact that a run of states have legalized gay marriage in recent months – either by court decision or by legislative action – with little backlash is only one indication of how public attitudes about this subject appear to be changing.

More significant is evidence in polls of a widening divide on the issue by age, suggesting to many Republicans that the potency of the gay-marriage question is on the decline. It simply does not appear to have the resonance with younger voters that it does with older ones.

Consider this: In the latest New York Times/CBS News poll, released on Monday, 31 percent of respondents over the age of 40 said they supported gay marriage. By contrast, 57 percent under age 40 said they supported it, a 26-point difference. Among the older respondents, 35 percent said they opposed any legal recognition of same-sex couples, be it marriage or civil unions. Among the younger crowd, just 19 percent held that view.

Next week I’M for Iowa is bringing Alexander Robinson of the National Black Justice Coalition to Iowa to talk about marriage equality. After the jump I’ve posted an e-mail from I’M for Iowa, which contains background information on Robinson as well as event details.

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